Lawyer uses $200K in legal fees to make movie about trial win in nursing home med-mal case

  • Print.

Bill Lundy had never made a movie before.

But, inspired by one of the difficult cases he had ever worked on, the Georgia trial lawyer used $200,000 in legal fees from winning a nursing home medical malpractice case to film A Larger Life, recounts the Daily Report (sub. req.).

The 112-minute film stars Lundy as well as well-known actor and former U.S. senator and attorney Fred Thompson, as well as actor Todd Litzinger and other members of the Lundy family (the lawyer’s real-life wife played his on-screen spouse). It premiered last month in Atlanta, as the Standard Journal details.

Lundy had no formal training in filmmaking, but read books on the craft, watched interviews of famous directors on YouTube and worked as an extra on television programs and movies shot in Georgia. During breaks on the set, he talked to those working on the production.

“And I found that the people who do this professionally have a passion for what they do and would freely discuss their craft,” he told the Daily Report “I would look at where they placed the lights, the cameras. There were so many terms to learn: What’s a grip? What’s a dolly?

“But nobody made fun of me or told me I was crazy.”

A recent film school graduate, Caroline Clonts, served as director of photography and lived in a cabin on the Lundys’ property while shooting and editing the film. The filming, which occurred in 2012 and 2013, took several months, largely in and around Cedartown, where Lundy lives and practices. Editing took nearly a year.

Clonts said Lundy has “great instincts” and noted that he also had theater experience, as a founder of the Cedartown Theatrical Performers Company.

Lundy based the screenplay on the Charlotte Pauline Dean case, which came to verdict in 2011. But he took creative license in telling the story.

For example, he included his longtime law partner, James Parker (played by Thompson), even though he died before the Dean case, because Parker was an important mentor to Lundy.

It isn’t clear at this point how the movie will be distributed. However, Lundy says the project was well worth the time and effort put into it.

“The whole thing has been incredibly rewarding and thrilling,” he told the Daily Report. “In a different life, I was a director, and I didn’t know it.”

A trailer for A Larger Life:

Related coverage:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Jury orders health care facilities to pay $9 million in wrongful death suit”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.